In our ongoing series, this week we consider the fourth footprint of the Holy Spirit. This is the fourth of ten. And the discovery of these footprints is happening as we consider the Book of Acts, especially as the Book punctuates the indispensable importance of the Third Person of the Trinity to Christ’s mission in the world.
By way of quick reminder, the third footprint had to do with how the Holy Spirit first comes upon the gathering of believers collectively before he begins to also fill each believer individually. This speaks volumes as to the importance of the Church.
This week we pay attention to one of the miracles effected by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. As people gathered around the house (was it the Temple?) where the disciples had gathered, and where all the commotion was taking place, they heard the disciples publicly declaring the mighty works of God. Perhaps that would be miraculous enough. But the people gathered from throughout the Mediterranean basin to be in Jerusalem for the festival heard the disciples’ testimony in as many as fifteen different languages! The Holy Spirit miraculously gave the handful of disciples the ability to speak in different foreign languages!
Dr. Buba, one of the Assistants to the Bishop in the NALC, stated it this way: “There were fifteen different languages, but there was one message of what God has done.” Another memorable phrase of Dr. Buba was this. “The Holy Spirit who is 100% invisible, helps to make Christ 100% visible to us.” And he helps accomplish this by overcoming the divide of language, which represents different races, cultures, and nations.
Now as we wait upon the Lord in prayer and are filled with the Holy Spirit, our speaking of what God has done in Christ will be empowered. It will be empowered so that the Christian message is essentially one, and so that the barriers to communication can be overcome.
Since You Asked…
What is the meaning of the Incarnation?
The word incarnation is taken from Latin term incarnatio. It literally means “taking flesh” and in the Christian Faith it refers to God becoming human. In John 1:14 we learn of God the Son becoming flesh with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Indeed the child born to Mary was a man, but it is the insistence of the Christian Faith that Jesus was also fully God. He is sometimes called the God-Man. Without ceasing to be fully divine, inseparable and equal to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit; God the Son also fully assumed our humanity in the womb of the Virgin Mary. In this way Jesus mediates God to man and then also represents man to God. The mystery of the Incarnation becomes a necessary means by which Jesus’ death and resurrection accomplishes our salvation.